Chef Explains Which Items We Probably Shouldn't Buy At Costco And Why

While most grocery stores only vary in what you can find there, Costco has a lot of unique traits that make even the experience of shopping there a lot different.

Not only do they have people who check our receipts to ensure we aren't being overcharged, but the store can also surprise us with the non-grocery items it will sometimes make available.

But of course, other than the surprisingly affordable hot dog and drink combo, the thing that Costco is most famous for is the absurdly high quantities of what it's willing to sell you in bulk.

And there are a lot of items that make this bizarre business model worth it because if you can keep them for a while, the price you pay ends up saving you money in the long run.

But as one chef has recently pointed out, there are certain items that only come back to bite us when we buy a massive amount of them.

For the most part, Chef Lizzy Briskin warns us not to overestimate how long some items can last.

As she wrote in an article for Insider, the most common problem for the 12 items she advised avoiding was that they're likely to go bad or stale long before we've finished off the large amount we've bought.

This was true of oversized cans of tomato sauce, big cereal boxes, tubs of sour cream, bulk bread crumbs, pre-sliced deli meats, containers of fruit, peeled garlic, and large packages of baked goods.

But perhaps the most surprising example concerned the roasted mixed nuts we see here. Not only do the natural oils go rancid pretty easily, but the roasting decreases their shelf lives even more.

But while spoiling was the most common reason to pass some items by, that wasn't the problem in some other cases.

For instance, you'd be perfectly capable of eating Costco's frozen salmon after an extended period of freezing.

But that doesn't mean you'd find it that appetizing because the flaky texture of pre-marinated frozen salmon tends to break down, which will end up leaving it pretty mushy.

That aside, the store's fresh salmon is apparently a better deal anyway and will likely end up tasting better after you season it yourself.

For a similar reason, Briskin advises walking past husked corn in favor of variants that still have the silk attached.

And she stood firm on this regardless of what time of year it is because there's no way of knowing how long this corn has spent in the package after being husked.

This matters because corn eventually dries out after it's husked, which makes it less flavorful and nutritious. Whereas if you husk it yourself, you'll get the best of both worlds.

Finally, Briskin shared a piece of advice that isn't actually specific to Costco.

And that's to avoid pre-shredded cheeses in general because they're often less flavorful than cheese you grate yourself. Again, this is because it's impossible to know how long ago the cheese was shredded.

Another problem arises in a three-or-four-cheese blend because we don't have any real idea as to how much of each variety is contained in a given bag.

So when edibility isn't the issue, it seems that you have to decide whether it's more important for meals to be convenient or delicious.

h/t: Insider

Filed Under: